20 Italian Christmas recipes for an amazing holiday feast

From Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, celebrate the holidays with these delicious Italian Christmas recipes.
by Alessandra Bulow /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY
Tiramisu Parfaits
Grace Parisi / TODAY

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From Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, celebrate the holidays like an Italian with amazing recipes from star chefs like Giada DeLaurentiis, Lidia Bastianich and Andrew Carmellini. Here are 20 amazing Italian Christmas recipes to try for appetizers, mains, pastas, sides, desserts, and cocktails.

Italian Christmas appetizers

For a Feast of Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve or entertaining on Christmas Day, try these juicy prawns that can be served as hors d'oeuvres or an appetizer.

Baked Clams Oreganata

Baked clams oreganata are a must-have for a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is celebrated on Christmas Eve, but these would be a lovely appetizer for any special meal.

Salmon and Avocado Tartare

This elegant appetizer has layers of salmon tartare, avocado puree and a crunchy shaved raw vegetable salad dressed with citrus vinaigrette.

Italian Christmas mains

Lidia Bastianich's Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Onions

Although it's made with just a handful of ingredients, this pork tenderloin looks (and tastes!) impressive. Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut, meaning this simple recipe is healthy too. You can use any combination of onions you like, as long as you have about 8 cups in total.

Short Ribs Braciole

Short Ribs Braciole

Andrew Carmellini

This tender meat dish is a no-brainer crowd-pleasing main course for Christmas.

Giada's Pork Chop Agrodolce

The chops have a balanced rich flavor (agrodolce means "sweet and sour") without adding tons of additional fats.

Italian Christmas pastas

Celebrate Christmas the Italian way. This classic dish is surprisingly successful and easy to make in your Crock-Pot.

Tagliolini with Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Perfect for an easy seafood dinner and an Italian Feast of Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve.

Creamy, rich and way easier than it looks, cook up this fast pasta dinner idea from twin Italian chefs Tony and John Alberti. Fresh sage make the sauce especially fragrant. Serve topped with crispy fried sage leaves.

Italian Christmas side dishes

Bacon makes everything better, especially star chef Lidia Bastianich's sauteed brussels sprouts with walnuts and bacon.

It's so aromatic that it makes a great textural complement to meaty dishes like the Short Ribs Braciole here.

Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese kale. Besides being a little more elegant, it's more interesting — sweeter and a little more peppery than regular broccoli. All you need to do is toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, toss it on a sheet pan, and roast it. Side dishes don't get any easier than this!

Italian Christmas desserts

Nutella Cake

The Alberti brothers serve this Nutella cake with an espresso martini.

This gorgeous dessert has a luscious ricotta filling and irresistible biscotti crust.

Sicilian Fig Cookies

Sicilian fig cookies by TODAY Food Club member Joanie Zisk
Joanie Zisk / ZagLeft

This sprinkle-covered treat is a classic Christmastime snack in Italy that Joanie Z. of ZagLeft makes year after year.

Try serving this lovely orange cake with a citrusy sparkling cocktail. The Alberti brothers suggest serving the cake with non-dairy ice cream, but it would also be delicious with regular ice cream.

Tiramisu Parfaits

Tiramisu Parfaits

Grace Parisi

Come dessert time, serving individual glasses of tiramisu is a piece of cake (well not literally). Not only will these impress your guests, but everyone is guaranteed to get one!

Italian Christmas cocktails

This sparkling Italian Aperol spritz punch is perfect for a party.

Keep the pep in your party step with this cocktail that's made with coffee liqueur and espresso.

The Alberti twins call this citrusy sparkling cocktail the Albertini.

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